Anita Wetzel began her artistic practice in 1972 after completing a BFA in painting at SUNY New Paltz. She pursued further studies with Barbara Leoff Burge, focusing on mixed media collage work which she has now been practicing for over 40 years.
With Leoff Burge, Ann Kalmbach and Tatana Kellner, Anita co-founded the Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW) in 1974 in Rosendale, NY. WSW’s studios initially focused on printmaking, offering artists equipment to which they might otherwise not have access. The founding artists then further enhanced WSW’s offerings by developing a hand papermaking program and, by the early 1980s, offering residency grants for artists to create artists’ books. Anita incorporated book making practices and adapted a range of monoprint methodologies to incorporate in to her mixed media collage work. She has also authored several limited edition artists’ books.
Over her career, Anita’s work has been diverse in scale and materials. The artist has used found objects, found pigments and unconventional drawing tools. She has worked on paper at mural scale using cut and assembled handmade paper. Her mural-scale works on paper often incorporate transfer and other print processes.
More recent exhibitions of the artist’s work include:
Walking Lightly with Intention, a memorial exhibition, Women's Studio Workshop, 2021
To Sleep a Better Sleep, at Unison Arts in New Paltz, NY, a series of mixed media collage works, 2016
10th Anniversary, a large scale collage work on handmade paper presented as part of the 10th Anniversary of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts’ residency program at Moulin à Nef, Auvillar, France, 2015
KMOCA (Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art: a cycle of mixed media collage works on commercial packaging presented at KMOCA (Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art), 2011
Galería Nacional, Centro Costarricense de Ciencia y Cultura, San José, Costa Rica, major exhibitions of mixed media collage work, 2012 and 2008
The artist’s work has often been presented in conjunction with the exhibition activities of WSW, most recently at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz as part of the exhibition, Linking Collections, Building Connections: Works from the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium. Her collages along with book works have been presented at Westchester Arts Workshop, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Albany Institute of History & Art, and Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
The artist has been Artist In Residence (AIR) in artist communities in the U.S. and abroad. In the United States: Cummington Community for the Arts, multiple times at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), Blue Mountain Center and the Weir Farm Trust. Internationally: VCCA’s Moulin à Nef, Auvilar, France, Fundación Valparaíso, Mojácar, Spain and twice at the Julia & David White Artist Colony, Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica.